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'Toxic Stock Syndrome' Report: Many Companies Are Keeping Shareholders in the Dark on Potential Recalls, Bans, and Other Risks
Date:4/17/2008

hareholder resolution filed by Trillium Asset Management at Dow Chemical Company, to be voted at Dow's annual meeting on May 15, notes that approximately half of Dow's pesticide products (73 of 149) may be linked to asthma and other respiratory problems. It asks the company to establish an independent panel to examine this issue and to report on possible actions to phase out or restrict these materials. Dow does not now disclose such risks to shareholders. The company has responded to the resolution by contending that such an assessment is more appropriately done by regulators than by the company. Dow is basically acknowledging that it will defer to regulators instead of acting proactively on these product toxicity concerns, a potential red flag for Dow investors.

A shareholder resolution filed by Calvert Asset Management Company, Inc, to be voted at Avon's annual meeting on May 1, asks the company to report to shareholders on Avon's product categories containing nanomaterials, and to discuss any new initiatives or actions, aside from regulatory compliance, that management is taking with regard to the issues raised by nanomaterials. The company has not disclosed any hazards of nanotech used, and has asserted the safety of its use of nanoparticles in sunscreen, despite significant gaps in the state of scientific knowledge on sunscreen nanoparticle safety when used with injured, broken or sunburned skin, for instance.

Additionally, the report notes that DuPont has been forced by consumer demand to phase out the use of its controversial chemical, PFOA, despite its ongoing assertions in its financial reports that PFOA does not harm human health. According to the report authors, DuPont has continually failed to provide shareholders with a balanced presentation of what is known to science regarding PFOA hazards.

The report concludes with recommendations to companies, investors, and the SEC, including the following:

-- Companies should p
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SOURCE Investor Environmental Health Network, Falls Church, VA
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